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A guide to fashion’s 5 tribes

To any old passerby, the guests inside of a runway show look like one large group of well-dressed people. But to the trained eye, they’re actually smaller groups of tightly bound cliques, quietly sizing one another up.

To any old passerby, the guests inside of a runway show look like one large group of well-dressed people. But to the trained eye, they’re actually smaller groups of tightly bound cliques, quietly sizing one another up.

Bloggerati



Most popular members
: Bryanboy, Tavi (above), Garance Doré, Jak & Jil’s Tommy Ton, Hanneli Mustaparta
Key traits: A fun-loving crew, the bloggers are like one big group of friends, rather than competitors. They’re the ones who are actually smiling at the shows, because they’re just happy to be there.
Where to spot them: The street waiting for a show to end, or in the front row.
Tribes-within-a-tribe: The street-style bloggers, who take photos of others, vs. the personal style bloggers, who take pictures of themselves.

Editrixes



Most popular members
: Anna Wintour (above), Suzy Menkes, Cathy Horyn, Robin Givhan, Anna dello Russo
Key traits: The designers set the trends, but these powerful women influence whether or not everyday shoppers will buy them.
Where to spot them: Sitting expressionless at the center of the front row, usually being interviewed, videotaped and photographed.
Tribes-within-a-tribe: The magazine editors wield a different kind of power from the newspaper writers. The monthlies tend to influence the fashion industry as a whole, while the dailies impact public opinion.

Runway stars



Most popular members: Freja Beha Erichsen, Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls and Lindsey Wixson (above)
Key traits: They’re the impossibly tall, leggy creatures traveling to shows with their runway hair and makeup still on.
Where to spot them: Running out of the backstage entrance at any show venue into a waiting car.
Tribes-within-a-tribe: There are the girls of the moment (the models who walk in every show like Freja and Karlie) and then there are the new-on-the-scene girls who are hoping to get there.

Retail queens



Most popular members
: Net-A-Porter’s Natalie Massenet (above), Lane Crawford’s Sarah Rutson and Liberty of London’s Yasmin Sewell
Key traits: They have the nicest chauffeured cars and of-the-moment accessories.
Where to spot them: Heading into shows with street-style photographers hot on their embellished, color-blocked designer heels.
Tribes-within-a-tribe: The fashion directors of brick-and-mortar shops have always commanded the most attention. But these days, the women behind the e-commerce sites such as Net-A-Porter and ASOS are becoming more high-profile.

Publicists



Most popular members
: Karla Otto (above), BPCM’s Vanessa Bismarck and People’s Revolution’s Kelly Cutrone
Key traits: A clipboard in hand, an earphone chord around the neck and an extremely low tolerance for nonsense.
Where to spot them: Cutting that gatecrasher down to size.
Tribes-within-a-tribe: Fashion publicists the world over are a tough breed, but the New York tribe is especially scary.



 
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